Jan 30, 2012

Borislow responds to WPS Suspension, casts doubt on legal fees excuse

Virginia Online Soccer News reached out to Dan Borislow, owner of the magicJack team that has been battling with the WPS since he purchased the former Washington Freedom club.  Borislow is currently taking a lot of blame via social media outlets concerning his perceived role in today's announcement by the WPS that it will suspend the 2012 season.

"We firmly believe there is a place in the global sports landscape for Women's Professional Soccer," said WPS CEO Jennifer O'Sullivan.  "Making the decision to suspend the 2012 season was a difficult and painful one, but it is necessary to take the time to address current issues and solidify our business in order to provide appropriate support needed to achieve the League's long-term goals. Those that take part in our League - players, partners and fans - deserve the best, and that is what we are taking the time to ensure we deliver when we resume play in 2013 and beyond."

In response to the news of the suspension of the 2012 WPS season Dan Borislow said:

"I still expect the WPS to live up to their agreement they made with us and recorded with the Judge a few weeks ago. I was also under the impression that Pal Fulmer, their lawyer, was donating her time or making a contribution to offset any legal expenses of the league. If the league follows through with our deal, I can't imagine why there would be legal expenses. I hope to still put a team together but have to see what happens with a residency camp. magicJack stays committed to helping the US add another Gold medal to it's inventory. We will do practically anything to help the Women achieve this."

Do you believe that the WPS is attempting to use Borislow as a scape goat and try to place the blame of failure to successfully launch the 2012 season squarely on the shoulder of the magicJack owner?

WPS Officially Announce Suspension of 2012 Season

Official Announcement by WPS press release:


SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 30, 2012) – Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) announced today that its Board of Governors has voted to suspend the 2012 season to permit the League to focus on the resolution  of certain pending legal issues and  the challenges that now face the League as a result of its ongoing dispute with a former owner.

"We are proud of what the League has accomplished in the first three seasons, but we do recognize the necessity to resolve our existing legal and operational issues so that we can continue to support and grow WPS the right way," said Sky Blue FC Owner Thomas Hofstetter. "This was a very difficult decision, but one we as owners feel is the best business decision for the League at this time."

The Board voted on Monday morning to suspend the 2012 season.  Over the last year the league has faced significant challenges, including a lengthy and expensive legal battle with a former owner.  The litigation has diverted resources from investment in the league and has forced the Board to take action, suspending the 2012 season in order to address the legal issues head-on before moving forward with competition. 

"We firmly believe there is a place in the global sports landscape for Women's Professional Soccer," said WPS CEO Jennifer O'Sullivan.  "Making the decision to suspend the 2012 season was a difficult and painful one, but it is necessary to take the time to address current issues and solidify our business in order to provide appropriate support needed to achieve the League's long-term goals. Those that take part in our League - players, partners and fans - deserve the best, and that is what we are taking the time to ensure we deliver when we resume play in 2013 and beyond."

WPS has established its plans to return to play in 2013, and all five owners of the League's existing teams - Atlanta Beat, Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence, Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash - will remain active with the CEO, Jennifer O'Sullivan, in the governance of WPS throughout the current year.

"We are deeply grateful to our fans and partners for the tremendous support they have shown for WPS, our players and the sport," added O'Sullivan.  "With our supporters and athletes in mind, we are committed to complete the hard work necessary to resume play in 2013 and reestablish WPS as the premiere women's professional soccer league in the world."

Richmond Kickers announce Preseason Schedule

Richmond Kicker Press Release:


RICHMOND, VA – (Monday, January 30, 2012) – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce the 2012 preseason schedule, featuring games against local favorites Virginia Commonwealth University on Saturday, March 3 and NCAA National Champions University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on Saturday, March 17 at the state-of-the-art sports complex, Ukrop Park.  The Kickers will cap off their preseason schedule against ACC powerhouse University of Maryland on Saturday, March 31 at Richmond City Stadium. 

“We are pleased to play such a competitive preseason schedule,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Head Coach and Director of Soccer.  “The first two regular season games against Charleston and Orlando will be very difficult as both teams have the advantage of a longer preseason as well as the luxury of facing MLS teams during that time.  Our games, especially the showcase games, will be beneficial for our players, while providing an early opportunity for our fans to see how the team is progressing."

Fans are invited to get a first look at the Kickers 2012 squad, including USL PRO all-star, Jason Yeisley, as well as other potential new signings.  Tickets for the Kickers preseason matches are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com for $5.00 each (youth and adult).  All-Access Pass Holders will be admitted free.


In addition to the three showcase matches, the Kickers will face an intense lineup of closed door preseason scrimmages including games against James Madison University, William & Mary, Old Dominion University and Longwood University beginning Saturday, February 25.  The 20th Anniversary season kicks off Saturday, April 7 when the Kickers play host to long-time rivals Charleston Battery and the first leg of the Pioneer Cup.

2012 Richmond Kickers Preseason Schedule

February 25
6:30 PM
James Madison University
Ukrop Park
March 3
7:00 PM
Virginia Commonwealth University
Ukrop Park
March 17
7:00 PM
University of North Carolina
Ukrop Park
March 23
7:00 PM
William & Mary
Ukrop Park
March 25
5:00 PM
Old Dominion University
Ukrop Park
March 28
7:00 PM
Longwood University
Ukrop Park
March 31
2:00 PM
University of Maryland
City Stadium

SharX lose to Lancers 17-8, Bryant out for Season

Norfolk SharX Press Release:

Norfolk, Virginia – In a game that saw 23 fouls called and play stopped a dozen times for injuries, the Rochester Lancers literally outlasted the Norfolk SharX 17-8 at Norfolk Scope Arena Sunday afternoon.  The SharX lost their third player for the season tonight when Brady Bryant was helped off the field with a torn ACL.  Marcello Alves suffered the same injury early in the season and goalkeeper Brian Sowell was lost due to a torn shoulder ligament.  He will be in rehab for five months.  Norfolk’s Brandon Massie also suffered a disc injury in his back in tonight’s game.  Andrew Marshall missed tonight’s match with a hamstring injury.

The SharX began with a high pressure game and it seemed to work through half of the first quarter and the SharX even took the lead just three minutes into the match.  Gary Brooks scored unassisted on a hard shot from the middle of the box to put Norfolk up 2-0. But the Landers came back and took control, scoring six unanswered points by Carlos Farias, Ljubomir Kocic and Doug Miller, until Norfolk could get on the board again.

The second half started fast for the SharX, again using their pressing defense and Matthew Delicâte was able to capitalize on a let-down by Lancer’s keeper Pat Hannigan during a SharX power play.  Miller was issued a blue card for boarding Norfolk’s player/coach Brian Hinkey and the SharX went to work, sending the ball into the area again and again.  One ball careened off the wall to Harrington but he couldn’t keep control and it landed at Delicâte’s feet.  He calmly one-touched it into the back of the net bringing the score to 10-6.

In the seventh minute of the second half, Matt Clare with an assist by Brian Hinkey, brought the SharX to within two points with a rocket of a shot from just inside the arc to make it 6-4, but Rochester’s Mauricio Salles scored two followed by two more from Miller to make it 10-4 at the half.  Rochester outshot Norfolk 15-11 in the first 30 minutes.

But Rochester again answered but with five points this time on Salles’ second goal in the 11th minute of the period and a minute later by a three-point strike by Elliot Fauske.  It was now 15-6 in favor of the Lancers.

In the final quarter, the SharX were only able to trade goals with the Lancers, starting with a strike by Norfolk’s leading scorer Miguel Ferrer off a restart with an assist from Matt Clare. And again Rochester answered on two points from Andrew Hoxie, assisted by Miller who earned five points on the night.  Ferrer and Clare led the SharX with three points each.

There were defensive highlights for the SharX in tonight’s game beginning with Yomby William who made back-to-back goal line saves in the second quarter.  William broke up the Lancers’ offense again and again and still was tied for the lead in shots on goal with Matt Clare.  Each had four on the night. The SharX defense also killed off two Rochester power plays.

“Every time we play a good physical contest, we suffer some injuries that are worrying,” said head coach Jon Hall. “Brady is the third player we have lost for the season due to injury.”

The SharX hit the road to Baltimore yet again on Wednesday, February 1st for a 7:05 kickoff with the Blast at 1st Mariner Arena.  The team then heads to Syracuse on February 9 at 7 p.m. at the Oncenter.  Norfolk returns home just in time for a Valentine’s Day matchup with the same Syracuse squad at Norfolk Scope Arena at 7 p.m.

The SharX invite all their fans to join them at The Public House in Norfolk’s Ghent on February 7 at 5:30 p.m. to meet and greet the team and the Mermaids. Food will be provided by The Public House and the team would love all of their fans to join them for this pre-Valentine’s Day get-together.

Jan 26, 2012

Former UVA, Washington Freedom player Becky Sauerbrunn signs with Sky Blue FC

Becky Sauerbrunn, the former Washington Freedom player and University of Virginia product is teaming up with her former Freedom coach Jim Gabarra. According to a report by Sentinal, Sauerbrunn has been signed by Sky Blue FC of the WPS.

You can also follow Becky Sauerbrunn on Twitter: @beckysauerbrunn.

Jan 24, 2012

17 players from D.C. United Academy heading to U.S. Soccer Training Center Program

D.C. United Press Release:

17 D.C. United Academy players invited to U.S. Soccer Training Center
U-16 Head Coach Roberto da Silva departs Academy

Washington, D.C. (January 24, 2012) – D.C. United announced today that 17 Academy players have been called-in to participate in a U.S. Soccer Training Center program. 10 players from the team’s U-18 program (born in 1994 or 1995) were invited, while seven players from the U-16 team (born in 1996 or 1997) were also tabbed to participate.

‘94-‘95: Suli Dainkeh, Patrick Foss, Ian Harkes, Collin Martin, Dakotah Niedemeier, Jalen Robinson, Nigel Robinson, Marcus Salandy-Defour, Michael Sauers, Christian Kershaw
‘96-‘97: Tyler Beaudoin, Jonathan Bell, Patrick Jean-Gilles, Tobias Kastan, Dolu Oyewale, Michael Seaton, Jonathan Sousa

U.S. Soccer conducts training centers in conjunction with local clubs and state associations to identify players with Youth National Team potential. Administered by the U.S. Soccer Development Academy regional conference’s technical advisor and members of the U.S. Soccer national staff, these sessions are designed to evaluate top players from the area’s Academy teams before Youth National Team trips and camps.

Roberto da Silva moves on: D.C. United announced U-16 Academy Head Coach Roberto Da Silva has made the decision to leave the club. Da Silva spent more than four years coaching in the club's Academy. 
“We'd like to thank Roberto for his time serving in our Academy,” said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. “Roberto helped to establish our Academy as one of the best in the country and also helped develop first team players Andy Najar and Bill Hamid. We wish Roberto the best of luck in the next phase of his career.”

Da Silva led D.C. United to three SUM U-17 Cup Championships - in 2007, 2009 and 2010. 
Tom Torres, who has been with the D.C. United Academy for more than five years, has been named as the U-16 Head Coach. After joining the club in 2007, he assisted with the U-14 and U-15 Training Program, before serving as a coach in the club’s camp program beginning in 2008. Torres’ role expanded in 2009 as he assisted with the U-18 team, while continuing his work in camps and with the U-14 and U-15 Training Program. In 2010, he served as the U-15 Head Coach, Pre-Academy Coordinator, and as an Assistant Coach for both the U-18 and U-23 teams. 

Jorge Calix called-in to U.S. Residency Program: U.S. Soccer today announced the 31 players who have been named to the U.S. U-17 Residency Program for the 2012 spring semester, which included D.C. United’s Jorge Calix. Calix, who was on D.C. United’s U-16 team last year, also spent the fall semester in the U.S. residency program. Prior to joining D.C. United, he played with Team America Premier of Virginia. The U-17 team is coached by former United midfielder Richie Williams.

Academy friendlies scheduled: D.C. United’s Academy teams have a number of friendlies scheduled for the coming weekend. The full schedule is listed below (all times eastern).
Saturday, January 28
U-14s vs. Baltimore Bays at 12pm
U-15s vs. Baltimore Bays at 2pm
U-16s vs. Vienna at 10am

Sunday, January 29
U-16s vs. McLean at 12pm
U-18s vs. McLean at 2:30pm

Locals Calix, Mejia-Flores named to U.S. U-17 Men's National Team Roster for 2011 Nike International Friendlies
Virginia players named to U-17 Residency Program
Virginia Players Chosen for U.S. u-15 Boys National Team Roster
Ten Virginia Players invited to ODP U-14 and U-15 National Team Camps

Richie Williams, former D.C. United player; UVA Assistant named U.S. U17 MNT Head Coach

U.S. Soccer Press Release:

Former U.S. MNT Midfielder to Oversee U-17 Residency Program

CHICAGO (Jan. 24, 2012) - U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati has named former U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Richie Williams as head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team. Williams will oversee U.S. Soccer's U-17 Residency Program from Bradenton, Fla., where the country's elite players reside year-round and train in a professional environment.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to coach the U.S. U-17 Men's National Team and be with the players full-time in the Residency Program," Williams said. "It is a great responsibility as the players kick off the cycle toward the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, but it is also an excellent platform for introducing them in more detail to the philosophies and style of play that are being integrated throughout the National Team programs."

Williams had previously been the head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team and the Mid-Atlantic Region technical advisor for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, but will leave both positions to immediately take over the U-17 Residency Program full-time in Bradenton.
"Richie is an ideal candidate to guide the development of our young National Team players while also preparing the team during the next year to qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup," said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. "His experience as a player and coach at the highest levels will allow him to continue to provide a professional environment for the players in our U-17 Residency Program."

Before joining U.S. Soccer, Williams spent five seasons with Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls as an assistant coach. Williams began his coaching career in 2005 as an assistant coach for his alma mater, the University of Virginia.

As a player, Williams represented the U.S. Men's National Team for five years from 1998-2002, compiling 20 appearances and 11 starts. During his professional career, he won three MLS Cups with D.C. United in 1996, 1997 and 1999.

The current crop of U.S. Under-17 players were born mostly in 1996, with three born in 1997, making all the players eligible for the upcoming CONCACAF qualifying tournament and FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2013 (2012 Spring Semester Roster). The U.S. Soccer Development Academy continues to have a growing influence on the U-17s, with 26 of the 31-player Residency roster stemming from Academy clubs. U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors continue to scour the country in search of the best players that are age eligible for the upcoming events in 2013.

The U-17 Residency Program has been a fixture of U.S. Soccer since 1999. The U.S. players live on campus at IMG Academies in Bradenton, and train in the morning before attending classes at St. Stephens Episcopal School. Along with training daily, the players regularly use IMG's state-of-the-art strength-training facilities, and top-of-the-line soccer equipment and fields.

This setup has helped the U-17s with both individual player development and team development. Since its inception, more than 300 players have been through the Residency Program, and more than 100 of those players have moved on to MLS, or the professional leagues in Europe. A total of 24 players have also registered at least one cap with the full MNT.

Washington Stars at Fun While It Lasted

Former Boston Breakers (WPS) General Manager, Andy Crossley, runs a great site called Fun While It Lasted where I love to go to see the great history and information he digs up about minor league franchises that have come and gone in the American sports landscape. I especially enjoy anytime he posts something regarding soccer teams that once played in the D.C. and Virginia area.

His latest post revisits the former Washington Stars of the American Soccer League (ASL), one of the precursors to MLS.

From: #84 Washington Stars at Fun While It Lasted

Washington Stars Logo

The Washington Stars were a professional soccer franchise based in Fairfax, Virginia that operated for three seasons between 1988 and 1990.  The Stars were a founding franchise in the American Soccer League, which debuted in the summer of 1988 with ten East Coast franchises stretching from Albany to Miami.
Read the rest of this great post!

Be sure to check out Fun While It Lasted on Facebook, they are giving away a Marta Bobble Head Doll.

Jan 23, 2012

Futbolr.com: Futbolr 15: Brian "Cobi" Span

Check out the new segment from our friends at Futbolr.com, Futbolr 15.

Their first interview is with recently signed UVA alumni Brian "Cobi" Span. This Sophmore landed a signing with Swedish outfit Djurgårdens IF one month ago. Talk about a great way to end the year.

Read Futbolr.com: Futbolr 15: Brian "Cobi" Span

2012 Jefferson Cup Accepted Girls Teams Announced

One of the premier youth soccer tournaments in Virginia, the Jefferson Cup, has released the names of girls teams accepted for 2012 tournament play.

The Jefferson Cup will be played in the Richmond, VA area and is partnered with SportsQuest. According to the official Jefferson Cup website, the tournament was rated No. 2 youth tournament in the country and will be feature 25 artificial turf fields.

2012 Jefferson Cup Girls Showcase - Accepted Teams Page

2012 Jefferson Cup Boys Showcase - Accepted Teams Page

You can follow the Jefferson Cup via Twitter: @jeffersoncup.

Norfolk SharX name Jim Gooley General Manager

Norfolk SharX Press Release:

Lucy Gimbel named Director of Operations
Troy Catindig named Director of Group Sales

Norfolk, Virginia – The Norfolk SharX are pleased to announce that Jim Gooley has joined the staff as General Manager. Other staff appointments also include naming Lucy Gimbel Director of Operations and Troy Catindig Director of Group Sales.

Gooley comes to the SharX with over 45 years in the game of soccer. A goalkeeper by trade, he began playing for Brick Township High School in New Jersey. With a degree in electronics from Ocean County College in the 1970's Jim worked for a small electronics company and then joined Eastman Kodak in 1978. During his 21 years as an imaging specialist at Kodak he continued to play and coach youth soccer for various clubs. He joined Nikon Microscope Instruments in 2000 as a technical sales rep in the pharmaceutical and university markets.

Gooley became part of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) as an announcer and salesman for the Division III Central Jersey Riptide and the Central Jersey Splash W League team. He became Vice President of Sales and was then named General Manager of the franchises. In 2003, he joined the New Jersey Wildcats of the W League helping the team win franchise awards including USL Franchise of the Year in 2005. The same year the Wildcats were W League Champions and ranked as high as 4th in the world.
Jim Gooley

Gooley, along with Wildcats head coach Charlie Naimo and communications director Patric Santo Pietro, left the Wildcats to form a new team, Jersey Sky Blue. This W League franchise earned the 2006 W League Franchise of the Year award as well and the team moved directly into the new Women's Professional League (WPS) as Sky Blue FC. Gooley still announces games for Sky Blue.

Gooley’s work with Sky Blue was recognized by the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League and he was asked to help build a new MISL team, the New Jersey Ironmen. He worked as Director of Gameday Operations for two years.

He joins the SharX with experience and awards at every level of the professional game. Jim has a daughter Karen, a speech pathologist who is married to Joseph Ficarra. Both reside in New Jersey. Jim enjoyed 36 years of marriage to his late wife Pam.

“Jim has worked with USL, MISL, and other professional teams. He is known for hard work, creative ideas, and for building successful franchises,” said SharX President Marcie Laumann. “His enthusiasm for the team and the community are exactly what we need.”

Lucy Gimbel
Gimbel has been a member of the Hampton Roads soccer community since 2000 as a team organizer for the Neighborhood Youth Soccer League (NYSL) as well as a team manager for her son’s rec team. In 2003, she joined the Hampton Roads Piranhas organization working on game day set up, then adding game day music and atmosphere during the following season. She was appointed Director of Operations for the W-League and PDL teams in 2011. She started with the SharX as Director of Game

Day Operations working with volunteers, scheduling team travel and appearances as

well as managing the SharX office. Gimbel and her husband Brian have two children, Amanda 21 and Nick 15. A native of New York, Gimbel and her family have called Virginia Beach home for 20 years.

Laumann has been working with Gimbel for a long time. “Lucy is one of the hardest working people I know and a true sports nut,” Laumann said. “She has proven over and over again that she earns her nick name The Magician because she always seems to pull everything together when the team needs it.”

Catindig, a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in communications. He has been a life-long soccer fan and player, is a fan of the indoor game and is excited about Major League Sports coming to Hampton Roads. He and his wife Pam have two daughters, Taylor and Haley, and they reside in Virginia Beach.
Troy Catindig

“Troy is a polished professional that loves working with community organizations and groups,” Laumann said about Catindig. “He shares my passion to see the SharX involved in our community.”

Laumann went on to say that these staff additions are the shot of adrenaline the SharX organization needs. Laumann has been serving as both General Manager and President of the SharX and the appointment of Gooley will allow her to focus on the development and promotion of the franchise both on and off the field.
The SharX are on the road to Baltimore on Friday for a 7:35 kickoff with the Blast at 1st Mariner Arena. The team returns home Saturday night, January 21 at 7 p.m. at Norfolk Scope Arena. Tickets are available at the Scope Box Office or online at www.norfolksharx.com and $2 discounts are available by using code JAWS5.

For more information about the Norfolk SharX, Norfolk’s newest professional sports team, including sponsorships, tickets, internships or to volunteer, please call 757-419-3317 or visit www.norfolksharx.com.

Jan 20, 2012

United acquire Virginia native Danny Cruz from Houston

D.C. United Press Release:

D.C. United acquires Danny Cruz from Houston
United sends partial allocation to Houston for 21-year old midfielder

Washington, D.C. (January 20, 2012) – D.C. United announced today the team has acquired midfielder Danny Cruz from the Houston Dynamo in exchange for a partial allocation. The 21-year old is originally from Petersburg, Virginia and spent three seasons with the Dynamo.

“We’re pleased to have concluded a deal to acquire Danny from Houston,” said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. “He is a tenacious player who brings a lot of energy and bite to the midfield and we are thrilled to have him at United. At 22, he has enormous upside and we look forward to his contributions for years to come.”

Cruz saw time in 20 matches (13 starts) during the Dynamo’s 2011 campaign, collecting two goals and three assists, despite missing time due to a quad injury. He also started all four of the Dynamo’s four MLS Cup playoff matches, helping the team to the MLS Cup final before falling to the LA Galaxy 1-0. In 2010, the 5-foot, 8-inch midfielder started 14 of the 25 matches he played in, notching two goals and two assists in 1,362 minutes on the field – his career high. During his rookie campaign in 2009, Cruz was used as a substitute on six total occasions, totaling 107 minutes on the pitch. Houston originally acquired Cruz in the third round (41st overall) in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.

Prior to joining the Dynamo, Cruz spent two years at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. His two-year totals were 31 matches played (30 starts), to go along with nine goals and seven assists.

Cruz has also been a member of the U.S. Youth National Team at various levels since 2007 when he represented his country at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea. Most recently, he wore the U.S. shirt at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, starting two of three matches played in the tournament.

Follow Danny Cruz on Twitter: @dannycruz5 And check him out in this video from the 2011 MLS Cup in L.A.

Norfolk SharX Mens Indoor League Registration Open

The Norfolk SharX of the MISL are now taking registrations for their Winter Indoor Soccer League.
Registration is now open for players 17 and older.

Games are played Saturday 1-28-12 - 3-11-12

from 8AM - 11AM

All games held at Chilled Ponds in Chesapeake.

If you don't have a full team that is not a problem. Sign up individually and you will be placed on a team.

Questions contact info@norfolksharx.com

Register on line at www.norfolksharx.com



Richmond Kickers 14th annual player combine this weekend


Players From Across the Globe Attend Open Tryouts this Weekend

RICHMOND, VA - (Thursday, January 19, 2012) – Over 70 players will attend the Richmond Kickers 14th annual player combine this weekend, January 20-22 at the Kickers state-of-the-art sports complex, Ukrop Park. Players representing countries from around the world, including the U.S., England, France, Germany, Brazil, The Gambia, Nigeria and South Africa, will participate in three days of intense training, including small-sided games, speed testing and full-sided matches.

“The Pro Combine is the most important event of the year for identifying players,” explained Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer and Head Coach. “We typically sign 2-3 players from this event and it has proven to be a valuable resource for the coaching staff. This year, we expect a high level of play with participants traveling from around the globe to try and secure a professional contract with the Kickers.”

Attendance at the Kickers player combine is one of the best ways to ensure that a player’s complete soccer resume and professional evaluation is in front of key decision makers for the Richmond Kickers organization. Training sessions will take place in front of Kickers’ professional coaches, led by Cowlishaw, who will be joined by an array of technical staff and former professional players.

Past Kickers trials have produced such prominent players as Clyde Simms (D.C. United and US Men’s National Team), Ronnie Pascale (Three-time USL-2 Goalkeeper of the Year), Tim Brown (New Zealand National Team) and Robert Ssejjemba (2006 USL-2 MVP and Ugandan National Team).

Richmond was the first pro team that I played for, playing with the caliber guys that they had there at the time,” commented Simms. “The team was great – the staff and players were very welcoming and professional. I was able to get a good amount of playing time there, which was huge for my development and being able to make it to the next level.”

Discovered at the Kickers 2004 combine, Simms spent one season in Richmond before being recognized by D.C. United and the U.S. Men’s National Team. Simms appeared in 31 games for 2,571 minutes with the Kickers and started more games than any other rookie that season (28). Since then, he has made 182 appearances over seven seasons, posting over 13,000 minutes, in a D.C. United uniform before signing with the New England Revolution following the 2011 campaign.

In franchise history, 22 players have progressed from the Richmond Kickers into Major League Soccer. Established in 1993, the Kickers have consistently been one of the most successful professional soccer clubs in America. Over the past 19 seasons, Richmond has qualified for postseason play 17 times, and reached the title match in 2010 for the sixth time in the past nine campaigns, falling just short of the Championship title. Richmond's seven previous league Championship appearances (1995, 1996, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009) include winning the Premier League title in 1995, a shoot-out loss to Seattle in the USL First Division final in 2005 and taking the USL Second Division crown twice against Charlotte in 2006 and 2009.

Jan 19, 2012

Tribe’s Abrigo, Smith Earn All-State Honors

Tribe’s Abrigo, Smith Earn All-State Honors

Courtesy TribeAthletics.com 
Thu, January 19, 2012

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - William and Mary Tribe men's soccer players Nicolas Abrigo and Will Smith were honored by the Virginia Associate of Sports Information Directors (VaSID) on Thursday, earning All-State accolades. Abrigo was named to the all-state first-team, while Smith earned second-team honors.

 Nicolas Abrigo and Will Smith

After breaking out at the 2010 CAA Tournament where he earned CAA Most Outstanding Player honors, Abrigo kept that momentum going during the 2011 campaign for the Tribe. The South Riding, Virginia native led the team this season with 20 points and nine goals, earning First-Team All-CAA and Third-Team All-Region honors. Abrigo had a knack for coming through when it meant most this year, tallying a conference-best five game-winning scores.

With a solid rookie season already under his belt, Smith had an even better year in 2011, earning All-CAA Second-Team accolades. A consistent force and leader on the Tribe's backline, the center back Smith played every minute this season for the College. Smith also helped out on the offensive end this year, tallying an assist in the Tribe's wins over UNC Greensboro and Towson.

For all the latest news on William and Mary Tribe men's soccer, be sure to go to TribeAthletics.com. Fans can also follow Tribe head coach Chris Norris on Twitter - @WMTribeMSoccer.

Jan 18, 2012

United Sign Brazilian Forward Maicon Santos

D.C. United announced the teams latest signing, Brazilian forward and MLS veteran Maicon Santos.

Official D.C. United Press Release:

Washington, D.C. (January 18, 2012) – D.C. United announced today the team has acquired forward Maicon Santos. The 27-year old Brazilian most recently played with FC Dallas, after originally joining MLS in 2009 as a member of Chivas USA. Per MLS and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Santos is with the team in DC and will participate in today’s training session at Long Bridge Park (475 Long Bridge Dr., Arlington, VA 22202). He’ll be available to media after training for comment.

“We’re very pleased to have Maicon as a part of D.C. United,” said General Manager Dave Kasper. “He is a big, solid target forward that will fit well into our system of play and complement the group of players already on our roster.”

Santos began the 2011 season in Toronto FC, tallying six goals and an assist in 19 matches (15 starts), before being traded to FC Dallas in August. While in Dallas, he played in 11 matches (9 starts) for the Texas side, notching two goals an assist.

The beginning 2010 campaign saw Santos with Chivas USA where he collected a goal and assist in nine matches (three starts) before being traded to Toronto. He went on to score four goals and chip in two assists in 13 matches (10 starts) for the Reds.

Santos made his MLS debut in 2009 with Chivas USA just one day after signing with the club, assisting on the second goal in a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC. He started eight of ten contests during the regular season, notching one goal and one assist. Santos started both of Chivas’ matches in the MLS Cup Playoffs, scoring a goal in the first leg against the LA Galaxy.

In 62 career MLS games (45 starts), he has 14 goals and five assists.

Prior to his MLS move, Santos played for Brazilian club Bonsucesso in 2009 and Israeli Premier League clubs Hapoel Kiryat Shomna and Bnei Sakhnin – both in 2008. In 2006 and 2007 Santos played for Tunisian side Étoile Sportive du Sahel, spending one season on loan at Libyan club Al-Nasr Benghazi. He made his professional debut in 2005 with Rio de Janeiro side Madureira Esporte Clube of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série C.

Longwood University Senior Jeol Helmick Selected In The MLS Supplemental Draft


Longwood University men’s soccer senior Joel Helmick|Springfield (W.T. Woodson) has been selected by the Colorado Rapids with the 14th pick in the fourth round of the 2012 Major League Soccer (MLS) Supplemental Draft. Helmick was a four-year starter for the Lancers and posted a career 1.38 goals against average with 14 shutouts. He is the first Longwood player selected in the MLS Supplemental Draft. Joel is the son of Jeff and Claudia Helmick.

“This is a great day for Joel and his family, as well as Longwood and the Lancer soccer program, as we can all share and celebrate his draft to the Colorado Rapids,” said head coach Jon Atkinson. “Joel is a beacon for future aspiring athletes at Longwood, and a testimony that hard work and dedication, along with talent, can get you closer to your dream no matter the size of the school nor the history of a program. We wish Joel all the best and pray he goes all the way as he embarks on what will be a challenging preseason with a professional MLS outfit.”

Helmick started 71 of 74 matches and played 6637:22 in goal over his four-year career. He made 273 saves for a .728 save percentage and posted a 25-31-13 record. Helmick had his best season as a senior with a career-best 0.92 save percentage, 11-6-3 record and six shutouts. He stopped 72 shots for a .791 save percentage and played 1864:29 in goal, missing just 23:05 the entire season.

Helmick earned First Team All-Atlantic Soccer Conference (ASC) recognition as a senior, and was named the ASC Tournament Most Valuable Player and ASC Tournament Outstanding Defensive Player as he guided the Lancers to their second ASC tournament championship in four seasons. Both tournament matches went to a penalty kick shootout, and he stopped a pair of penalty kick attempts in both matches. Helmick was named ASC Rookie of the Year and ASC Tournament Most Valuable Player as a freshman.

Jan 15, 2012

2012 Jefferson Cup Accepted Boys Teams Announced

One of the premier youth soccer tournaments in Virginia, the Jefferson Cup, has released the names of boys teams accepted for 2012.

The Jefferson Cup will be played in the Richmond, VA area and is partnered with SportsQuest. According to the official Jefferson Cup website, the tournament was rated No. 2 youth tournament in the country and will be feature 25 artificial turf fields.
2012 Jefferson Cup Boys Showcase - Accepted Teams Page

You can follow the Jefferson Cup via Twitter: @jeffersoncup.

Jan 13, 2012

Jumper Selected No. 28 by Chicago Fire in SuperDraft

Hunter Jumper Selected 28th Overall
by Chicago Fire in MLS SuperDraft
Cavalier defender was a second-team all-region pick in 2011

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia defender Hunter Jumper (Sr., Plano, Texas) was selected by the Chicago Fire Thursday in the second round of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, held in Kansas City, Mo. Jumper was picked with the 28th overall selection and the ninth in the second round.

Hunter Jumper: photo courtesy of UVA Athletics

Jumper started 17 games this season and finished his UVa career with 79 starts. He started 15 of his 17 games this year at left back, scoring a pair of goals and adding four assists.

Jumper was a 2011 NSCAA Second Team All-Region selection. He was named to Capital One Academic All-District First Team in 2011 and earned a spot on the ACC All-Tournament Team for the third straight year. Jumper also is a three-time All-ACC Academic Team selection and this year was one of 30 nominees for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for men's soccer.

Prior to his time at Virginia, Jumper played for the U.S. U-17 and U-18 national teams.
Jumper becomes the 43rd former Cavalier to move on to play in MLS. UVa ranks second to UCLA in producing the most MLS players all-time.

Jan 12, 2012

VASoccerNews Q&A: Christian Metzler, Inspirium Soccer Award Winner

Recently Pat McStay of Virginia Online Soccer News was able to catch up with Christian Metzler of Woodbridge, VA. Metzler who is an All-State goalkeeper recently received the first annual Inspirium Soccer Award along with a $7,500 academic scholarship.

Woodbridge Goalkeeper wins Inspireum Soccer Award, Scholarship

Watch his inpirational video!

VASoccerNews: It seems like from day 1, you have been climbing mountains to overcome obstacles and you can tell by your video that you inspire others to do the same every day. Which people helped you with helping you develop such a positive attitude?

CM: My family has really been the rock and guiding influence on my attitude on life.  I have been gifted with so much that to complain about my disability wouldn’t be appreciating all God has given me.  My family has really helped me to see this especially my brother Nick.  We are with each other all day.  Our relationship and his outlook on life are so great.  We learn and feed off each other.  I also have a great group of friends that look straight past my leg and see me for who I am.  Although with my closest friends I am comfortable joking about my leg and it has been the source of practical jokes. Most notably and infamously, we threw it out the window in one of my classes in middle school and told the teacher we had lost my leg.  I try to have as much fun with it as possible.

VASoccerNews: Why did you choose soccer?

CM: Soccer was given to me when I was just four years old.  Both my parents played into their adult lives so it was always destined that I would play as well.  I stuck with the sport because of the love and passion I developed for it and it has always been a constant in my life.  Goalie was the position my dad played and I always aspired to be like him so the choice of position came more because I wanted to be like my dad rather than it coming because I couldn’t play with my feet.

VASoccerNews: Judging by your parents email addresses, they work for some part of the military. Did having that background in your family help during the difficult times when you were growing up? Did you father instill certain military beliefs in you as a kid so that you could get through the tough times?

CM: The toughest time in my life regarding my lack of a leg ironically came because of the military.  My dad is in the Air Force and he definitely instilled discipline in my life from a young age and always pushed me to do my best in whatever it is I wanted to do.  Since I always aspired to be like my dad, it was sort of inevitable that I would want to join the Air Force someday as well.  However the military does not accept incoming amputees on the grounds of being medically incapable.  It was a tough moment for me in my life and I was no doubt upset, but the military values my dad taught me growing up was able to help get me through the realization that as of  now I cannot join the military.

VASoccerNews: How were you notified that you were the winner? Were you shocked? How did you react? Take us through that day?

CM: The day leading up to the announcement of the winner was a busy one for me.  I did this on purpose as to not become nervous about the announcement and to just get my mind off it for the day.  I stayed up until midnight, when the winner would be announced, watching football with my dad and brother and I refreshed the website repeatedly waiting for some news.  When the banner of “Winner” finally showed up and my face and name were below I was thrilled.  I gave my dad and brother a big hug.  And then I woke my mother up to tell her as well.  My sister congratulated me the next day.  It was a great honor to be recognized and I was very thankful.

VASoccerNews: Do you have plans to play beyond high school and club soccer?

CM: I will attend the University of Notre Dame next year and I plan on playing soccer at club level or maybe even attempting to walk-on the team.  It is something I will definitely not give up as I go to college.

VASoccerNews:Any aspirations to coach the game that you love?

CM: Coaching is a goal of mine and is one that I have already started.  I have spent time coaching challenged kids through the PWSI TopSoccer program.

VASoccerNews: What’s the most difficult aspect of the game for you and how do you deal with it?

CM: The hardest part of being a goalkeeper that I had to deal with was the issue of punting the ball as a distribution method.  It was hard to punt the ball consistently with my left foot as my balance on my prosthetic right leg was not very good.  Instead of punting, I began to work on throwing the ball.  It is something I became very good at and it didn’t hinder my team.  In my high school years I could consistently throw the ball to half field.  Many times the other team would play up when I got the ball and I would throw it and it would sail right over their heads into their half of the field.

VASoccerNews: Who is the better soccer player-you or your brother?

CM: Comparing me and Nick is a tough considering he plays on the field and I am a goalie.  He is planning on playing in college and he has had much success with his club team as they just won the State Cup this past fall.  I am his older brother though so I must stand up for myself and fib when I say that I am the better player.

VASoccerNews: If you had to pick another sport to play, what would it be?

CM: I play on the varsity basketball team at my school so if I could dedicate most of my time to a sport other than soccer it would be basketball.

VASoccerNews: What’s in your IPOD right now? What songs inspire you?

CM: I listen to a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers.  That is my favoirte band by far.  As far as inspiration goes, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’s song “Under the Bridge” inspires me.

VASoccerNews: What is your favorite quote or phrase?

CM: My favorite quote and one that I use for inspiration is one my father has said to me from a young age and that is “If you think you can, you will.”  It very simply states that anything you put your mind to, you will be able to accomplish.

VASoccerNews:What is your best non-athletic skill?

CM: I would like to think I am a good actor.  I was in a play at school my sophomore year although it has never been anything that I have pursued despite urging from the acting director and one of my teachers, Sister Mary Brigid.  I also do pretty good in my academics.